Josef Forstmayr &The Magnificent 29 Part 2

Josef Forstmayr &The Magnificent 29 Part 2

Sunday, September 27, 2020

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Forstmayr's Garden Care

Forstmayr doesn't use any pesticides in his home garden and sticks to traditional organic plant care methodologies. Though he's not an orchid lover, as with all other plants that he's blessed with his green thumb he's had tremendous luck with them. He confides, “I'm not into orchids but have just always been given orchids. I just put them on trees and most have done extremely well and taken over...magnificent!”

Getting his hands dirty is all a part of the garden fun! Forstmayr doesn't have an automatic sprinkler system so he does it all by hand. He thoroughly enjoys watering all of his plants on Saturday and Sunday mornings. He also really enjoys speaking to them. He checks with them and removes the dead leaves typically right before his Sunday morning hike regime. Early mornings are spent in his open and airy garden with his plants.

Forstmayr's favourite plants

Forstmayr loves fantastically tropical plants; for example, his gorgeous Monstera Deliciosa. He adores what he coins as his “bamboo wilderness… just sitting in the bamboo garden… spectacular!” He also loves his palms — Robellini, Solitaire & Christmas! Then on to the heliconias! He just lets them “sit there”. The thickets of heliconias in and around his garden speak for themselves. Forstmayr remarks, “I don't even plant them for the flowers…look at the beautiful leaves. There are these bunches of thick plantings of heliconia. You don't see this in many places except in a climate like ours.”

Forstmayr's tips for beginners and nature lovers

He provides the most creative advice for the garden beginner. “You just have to try it and don't give up on anything. Plant things…Get cuttings or whatever you like. You like something in somebody's yard? Put it in water. We are so blessed in Jamaica. Everything can catch!”

Persistence is key. Forstmayr has got tremendous satisfaction by sheer persistence and stick-to-itiveness. Someone blessed him with a clipping of Queen of the Night (Blooming Cereus Cactus/Night blooming Cereus/Dutchman's Cactus). It's a very rare bloomer and when it blooms it does so in the still of the night. In the beginning, it “didn't do much” and though he persisted with good care, he pretty much forgot about it. However, this year, to the plant lover's delight his Queen developed a blossom and one morning was in full bloom. Forstmayr said, full of pride, “to me it's magical…you know why? Because its pollinated by moths. Nature is so amazing!”

If you're an explorer like Forstmayr and go on hikes or nature walks, it would suit your garden well to follow his advice. “When I go hiking and I see a bromeliad on the ground, I take it home and put it on a tree and then you have bromeliads all over the place!”

Nature's power

From the morning mist blanketing the Great River to the joy of hiking up Rio Grande Valley to discovering waterfalls and abandoned cottages and the romanticism at the heart of every conceivable plant, Forstmayr says, “You don't get lost…you always find a road or a path.”


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